Parents often worry about their kids when they play contact sports like basketball, ice hockey, or football. Frequent collisions brought about by these sports put your kids at risk for mouth injuries. They may lose or crack their teeth and bite their tongues, which can affect their confidence as they grow up. That is why kids must wear mouthguards whenever they play contact sports.
Mouthguards are a piece of essential protective equipment for children and adolescents participating in extreme physical activities. These simple yet effective devices can help prevent dental injuries and reduce the risk of concussion, making them an essential investment for every parent with sporty kids.
However, with so many different mouthguard choices, knowing which one is best for your child can be a challenge. A dentist in Alexander Heights can help you pick the perfect mouthguard for your child, so you can be worry-free whenever they play.
On that note, here are the things you need to know about kids’ mouthguards.
These are ready-to-use mouthguards that are available in a variety of sizes and styles. They’re the least expensive type of mouthguard and can be easily purchased at sporting goods stores or online. Pre-made mouthguards are often made from a soft, pliable material designed to fit over the teeth. They’re a good option for children who are new to sports or only participate occasionally. However, they may not provide the best protection and may be too large or too small for some children’s mouths. It’s also more prone to coming loose or falling out during use.
These are made from a thermoplastic material softened in boiling water and moulded to the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. They are more customizable to the shape of an individual’s mouth, which is a step up in terms of fit and comfort compared to pre-made mouthguards. They can be purchased at sporting goods stores or online and are more affordable than custom-made mouthguards.
These are made by a dental professional using an impression of the child’s teeth. They’re the most expensive mouthguard but offer the best fit and protection. This mouthguard type is made from a hard, durable material that is moulded to your child’s teeth and gum shape. They’re designed to fit snugly and comfortably and can be customized with different colours and designs.
Aside from the types of mouthguards, here are other essential things every parent must know:
Mouthguards Should Be Worn Properly
To wear a mouthguard properly, the child should place it in their mouth and use their tongue to push it into place. The mouthguard should fit perfectly over the teeth and gums, with no gaps or spaces. Take note that the child should be able to close their lips over the mouthguard and speak normally while wearing it. If the mouthguard is too large or too small, it may not provide the necessary protection or may be uncomfortable for your child.
Mouthguards Should Be Replaced Regularly
Children’s mouths are constantly growing and changing, which means a mouthguard should be replaced to fit these changes. The mouthguard must fit snugly and comfortably to provide the necessary protection, but it may no longer serve its purpose once your child experience changes in their mouth. Therefore, mouthguards should be replaced at least once a year or whenever they become worn or ill-fitting.
Mouthguards Can Prevent Dental Injuries
Mouthguards can help prevent dental injuries, such as broken teeth and damage to the mouth’s soft tissues. Dental injuries are common in sports and may entail costly operations. By wearing a mouthguard, children can help protect their teeth and mouth from harm during sports and other extreme physical activities. Mouthguards can also help prevent cuts to the lips and gums and jaw damage.
Mouthguards Can Be Uncomfortable
Mouthguards can be uncomfortable for some children, especially when it’s their first time wearing them. Children may find it difficult to speak or breathe and may be self-conscious about how it looks, so they may resist wearing it. That is why it is best to explain to your children how important it is to wear their mouthguards consistently.
Mouthguards are a piece of valuable protective equipment for children and adolescents participating in sports and other physical activities. Not only do they help prevent dental injuries, but they can also reduce the risk of concussion, making them essential for parents with sporty kids.
With so many different mouthguards available, choosing one that fits properly and is comfortable to wear may be challenging. But, by following the guidelines above, parents can give their children the best chance to stay safe and healthy while participating in sports and other physical activities.